Exoplanets have it…

Looks like yesterday was the day for exo-planets. First off, the winner of the Arthur C Clarke prize was Adrian Tchaikovsky’s Children of Time.


The blurb that goes with this novel is:

The last remnants of the human race left a dying Earth, desperate to find a new home among the stars. Following in the footsteps of their ancestors, they discover the greatest treasure of the past age – a world terraformed and prepared for human life.

But all is not right in this new Eden. In the long years since the planet was abandoned, the work of its architects has borne disastrous fruit. The planet is not waiting for them, pristine and unoccupied. New masters have turned it from a refuge into mankind’s worst nightmare.

Now two civilizations are on a collision course, both testing the boundaries of what they will do to survive. As the fate of humanity hangs in the balance, who are the true heirs of this new Earth?

I gather from the buzz, that Adrian was stunned to be announced the winner of the Clarke – I believe there is a ‘damning photo’ somewhere.

Oh, and I’ve just noticed that it’s no 1 in Amazon’s best sellers list…

All in all, huge congratulations to Adrian… and commiserations to the short-listed authors to have come up against such a worthy winner.

The other exoplanet news of course was they’ve discovered a planet orbiting Proxima Centauri that is in the Goldilocks zone – that zone that is neither too hot nor too cold, but just right to sustain water in liquid form and therefore could develop life.

The planet, Proxima b until they can agree a name for it, is about 1.3 times the mass of Earth, has an orbiting period of 11.186 days around the star and is about 0.0485 astronomical units (or c. 7.3 million kilometres) from the star. Those are the facts. There are still a lot of unknowns. And where there is unknowns, imagination and science fiction stories can take over.

In fact, someone somewhere has predicted there will be a whole slew of science fiction stories about to be published as a result of this discovery. Only of course Adrian got there first!

Hm… good job I’ve got my writing planned out for the next year or so, or I’d be joining the bandwagon!


3 thoughts on “Exoplanets have it…

    1. Even better – some people are in the process of designing very small probes to go and explore this star system. They are going to use lasers to push against panels as a form of propulsion. Their maximum speed will by 0.2 x speed of light – which means they’ll take at least 21 years to get there – but hey – it’s a step in the right direction.

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